Lewis Hamilton took an impressive final lap to take pole position from team-mate Valtteri Bottas as Mercedes dominated the Australian Grand Prix.
Bottas set the benchmark for the opening races as Hamilton never recovered from a poor start. Bottas was almost half a second clear, Sebastian Vettel was 0.2 seconds further back and seemingly out of action.
However, in the final laps, Hamilton – initially on course – hit the first sector and kept up the momentum to reach 1: 20.486 and take the pole position by 0.112 seconds. Bottas failed to improve on his second attempt as Vettel's slightly faster final lap surprisingly set the Ferrari back by 0.7. The strong final round of Max Verstappen was enough for Vettel in the second row, the Red Bull Honda driver shared Ferraris as Charles Leclerc finished fifth in his debut for the team. The Haas pair from Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen impressed with sixth and seventh places, although Magnussen is determined for his release from Sergio Perez in the first quarter.
This could lead to a penalty that would boost an already hugely impressive debut for Lando Norris with the McLaren rookie qualifying in eighth place for its Grand Prix debut. Norris was consistently fast and delivered the performance when it meant beating Kimi Raikkonen and Perez in the third quarter, who will compete in the fifth row.